Synthetic photos draw on the past to satirize the present Does CCP’s anti-Western propaganda work?

G-7 foreign ministers meet face-to-face for the first time in two years in London on May 4, 2021. Chinese war wolf artist “Wuhe Qilin” used this picture as a model for his cartoons to incite anti-American and anti-Western nationalist sentiments among the public.

The Chinese Communist Party has a long history of using its propaganda machine to indoctrinate, guide, and even incite people’s thoughts, emotions, and actions. The CCP’s official media recently used a computer-generated cartoon that draws on the past to incite anti-American and anti-Western democracies as a starting point. Observers say this approach by the CCP will deepen the suspicion of the outside world and push more people to the opposite side of the CCP.

The ironic allegory of the composite photo

The self-proclaimed CG (computer-generated painting) artist “Wuhe Qilin” posted a picture on his Sina Weibo account on May 7 with the text: “Post an old picture, the last time these guys got together for China was in 1900, 120 years ago, still dreaming. “.

“Uhe Kirin”, whose real name is Fu Yu, is 32 years old, a native of Harbin, now lives in Beijing, and is an illustrator, political cartoonist and war wolf painter (self-appointed).

In fact, this old photo is a computer composite of two photos spanning more than 120 years, which the author has combined into one. The eighth country, Russian soldiers, is not included, but Australian and Indian soldiers are added, so this historical photo, called the “Allied Forces photo”, actually includes soldiers from nine countries.

The other photo is a group photo of the closing of the G7 meeting in London in 2021. In the G7 photo, the EU diplomatic representatives are replaced by Austro-Hungarian soldiers and the Canadian foreign minister is replaced by an Australian soldier, making the photo a so-called “G7 composite photo. The photo is a composite photo. The people in the composite photo are wearing the same clothes as the G8 except for the masks.

The Indian soldiers are placed in the left corner of the composite photo, wearing white masks and receiving drips, thus suggesting that India was invited to the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting as an unofficial member, but could only participate by video due to the severity of the new coronavirus outbreak.

The “composite photo” replaces the text “United Kingdom 2021” in the background of the G7 foreign ministers’ photo with “Invaders United Kingdom1900” (invaders United Kingdom 1900).

Although “Wuhe Qilin” is not an imperial writer within the Chinese Communist Party system, this is not the first time he has published satirical or critical cartoons or CG drawings with strong political connotations, targeting foreign governments or companies from the Chinese Communist Party’s standpoint.

In November 2020, “UH Kirin” published a satirical cartoon entitled “The Teacher of Peace” in which an Australian soldier stands on a giant Australian flag and holds a bloody dagger to the throat of a veiled Afghan child holding a snow-white sheep. The cartoon reads in English, “Don’t be afraid, we are here to bring you peace. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian even cited the cartoon in a tweet urging Australia to investigate its alleged war crimes allegations.

Official media take advantage of the situation

In the CCP’s political context, the G8 is a symbol of foreign powers’ invasion and insult of China. By replacing the photo of the G7 foreign ministers and EU representatives with the soldiers in the photo of the G8 allied forces, Wuhe Qilin is sending a message to readers that the G7’s policy and attitude toward China is the same as the Western powers’ bullying and invasion of China 120 years ago.

The “composite photo” was reported by the official Chinese Communist Party media China Daily and the Global Times, an affiliate of the People’s Daily, and was also reposted by Xinhua News Agency. The authenticated Communist Youth League Central microblog account reprinted the “composite photo” with an article titled “A Dream of 120 Years”. Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, said on June 6 that no matter how much the United States strengthens its alliance system, they will not be able to create a new “Eight-Nation Alliance”.

Some Chinese netizens also showed strong patriotic enthusiasm for the “composite photo”. Some said: “China is not the same as it was in 1900”, “It’s been 120 years, but the nature of the robbers is hard to change!” The world has not changed, only China has changed”, etc.

Earlier, on May 5, G-7 foreign ministers issued a communiqué after two days of face-to-face meetings in London, expressing deep concern over human rights violations and abuses by the Chinese Communist authorities in Xinjiang and Tibet, particularly the crackdown on Uighurs and members of other ethnic and religious minorities, the massive ‘political re-education camps’, and the system of forced labor and Forced sterilization system. The communiqué is also concerned about China’s “arbitrary and coercive economic policies” that undermine “a free and fair economic system,” including trade, investment and development financing, and calls on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with its obligations under international and domestic law. The United States Secretary of State Blinken has also recently called on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with its international and domestic obligations.

Secretary of State John Blinken also recently said that the U.S. must stand up for international rules based on order, as the Chinese government becomes increasingly repressive internally and aggressive externally. But Blinken also stressed that the West has no intention of besieging the Chinese Communist Party.

Observers believe that, in complete contrast to the G8 attack on Beijing, the G7, in line with historical developments, urged China to fulfill its obligations under international and domestic law to respect human rights and freedoms, which should be seen as helpful to a Communist Party that is desperately trying to portray itself as a new type of great power to improve the rule of law, democracy, human rights, and freedom. But the Chinese Communist Party, an authoritarian and dictatorial state, has expressed strong opposition.

At a regular press conference on June 6, CCP Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said, “The G-7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting made unsubstantiated accusations against China, blatantly meddled in China’s internal affairs, and engaged in bloc politics that drive backwards in history, which is a gross interference in China’s sovereignty and a wanton destruction of the norms of international relations.”

Pushing more countries against each other

In an interview with the Voice of America, Professor Li Xiaobing, director of the University of Central Oklahoma’s Chancellor’s Distinguished International Studies Institute, said that the official Chinese Communist Party media reported and presented photos of the G-8 military and G-7 foreign ministers, spanning 120 years, to make clear the Chinese government’s position that, during the Trump administration The photo of the G7 foreign ministers and military personnel spanning 120 years is a clear statement of the Chinese government’s position that during the Trump administration, the U.S.-China relationship was strained and Biden, instead of seeking ways to resolve the dispute, joined forces with allies to confront China. He said the Chinese government has repeatedly stressed that China is no longer the China of the 1900s and that the West’s old ways of using the power politics of the past powers are not working.

Li Xiaobing said, “Through this cartoon, the Chinese media is trying to oppose the hostile attitude of the U.S. toward China, especially the hostile attitude of the U.S. in joining hands with other countries against China. And it also warns that some scholars, academics, experts, political circles and military circles in the U.S. should get rid of the past ‘i.e., enemy not friend’ way of thinking.”

Professor Li Xiaobing said that the Chinese government should not just use the issue to warn the U.S. about the G8 alliance 120 years ago and the G7 foreign ministers today, but should propose some constructive ways to ease the tensions in U.S.-China relations, but, unfortunately, so far he has not seen the two sides “move toward each other But, unfortunately, so far he has not seen any “mutually supportive” initiatives.

It is not uncommon for Chinese Communist Party officials and official media to manipulate specific issues to induce and influence public opinion in order to achieve their political goals. After the European Union announced on March 22 that it had sanctioned four Xinjiang officials and an entity for human rights abuses against the Muslim Uighur minority, a statement issued last year by Swedish apparel group H&M was “suddenly” unearthed by Chinese netizens, saying that the cotton they needed would no longer be sourced from Xinjiang. In the statement, H&M said they would no longer source their cotton needs from Xinjiang.

At a regular press conference on March 25, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on the one hand that the accusation of “forced labor” of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang was based on lies, and on the other hand stressed that the Chinese people could not accept “eating Chinese rice while smashing Chinese bowls”. On the other hand, she stressed that the Chinese people cannot accept the behavior of “eating Chinese food while smashing Chinese bowls.

With the intervention and encouragement of the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese netizens have started a wave of boycott of H&M and other international brands, online shopping platforms, as well as endorsement stars have also been removed from the shelves, or terminated cooperation.

The cotton and border fiasco in China continues to ferment, the real boycott or fake boycott?

The People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, published on its microblogging account on March 19 a picture made up of two photographs of representatives of the Qing government signing the Xin Chou Treaty with the ministers of 11 countries, including Germany, France, Britain, the United States, Russia, Japan, Italy and Austria, on September 7, 1901 (Xin Chou year). Below is the scene of the meeting between the top U.S. and Chinese diplomats in Anchorage, Alaska, on March 18, 2021. The text accompanying the People’s Daily says: “You are not qualified to say in front of China that you talk to China from a position of strength.” The comparison of the two photos and the accompanying text by the Chinese official media was self-explanatory and was liked by more than 1.96 million people.

Li Xiaobing said, the Chinese Communist Party official media use public opinion to carry out anti-American propaganda, although it may have encouraged or catered to some people’s support at home, but at the same time in the international arena, it has pushed many “pro-China”, “China recognition”, sympathetic to China in the past to “So now there are more and more “anti-Chinese” people and fewer “pro-Chinese” people.

But many pro-Chinese Communist Party experts have now become anti-Chinese, because the recent policies of the Chinese government have backfired,” he said. Some scholars have even suggested that China lost the United States, that China threw away an opportunity, that a great opportunity of two decades was not cherished, and that as a result it is now back to a new Cold War status.”

The Art of Diplomacy in Siege

Observers point out that the reform and opening-up policy implemented by the CCP over the past decades, especially after the CCP became a member of the WTO on Dec. 11, 2001, has led to the rapid development of China’s economy, which has not only jumped to the second largest economy in the world, but also to unprecedented national and military power. However, Xi Jinping, the leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC), contrary to Deng Xiaoping’s strategic policy of “hiding the light”, “never taking the lead”, and “making a difference”, has been acting in the name of defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity. In the name of defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity, it has frequently displayed its military power in the South China Sea, East China Sea and Taiwan Strait, causing tensions in the region concerned.

In an interview with the Voice of America, Hu Youwei, a full-time professor in the Department of Journalism and Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, said the aggressive military moves by the Chinese Communist Party have caused dissatisfaction and alarm among the countries concerned, and also endangered the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy and regional stability, so the U.S. has united with other countries to counter and encircle China.

Hu Youwei said the Chinese Communist Party’s response to Western countries’ “siege” is an art of diplomacy, rather than simply disliking each other in order to “take offense. An expression of meaning can be presented in a very strong way, or it can be done in a more moderate way,” he said. How to do it with the least harm or counterproductive effect on yourself and gain international support is a question that official institutions or official media need to think about.”

On March 18 of this year, top U.S. and Chinese diplomatic officials met in Anchorage, Alaska, for the highest-level meeting between the two countries since Biden took office. Following statements by Secretary of State Blinken and Presidential National Security Advisor Sullivan expressing deep concern about China’s actions on Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan affairs, as well as China’s economic coercion of U.S. allies, Yang Jiechi, a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo and Director of the Central Committee’s Foreign Affairs Working Committee Office, responded forcefully, “You are not qualified to say in front of China that you are in a position from You are not qualified to talk to China from a position of strength” because “the Chinese do not eat this.

While such a public display of dislike for the United States by the CCP’s top diplomatic official resonated with patriotism among a segment of the Chinese domestic population, it reinforced international concern and alarm about the CCP’s aggressive military and economic moves.

Professor Hu Youwei said that Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping has repeatedly stressed that China does not claim hegemony and said again at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia on April 20 that the CCP will never claim hegemony or expand, no matter how far it develops, and will continue to be a builder of world peace and a defender of the international order. With this in mind, he argued that Chinese Communist Party officials should follow a moderate, even humorous, rather than a strongly confrontational approach in their dealings in international affairs. At the same time, he pointed out that in its development and rise, China should let the general public, especially in the West, understand that it is making progress with no intention of world domination, but only seeking to develop and become rich and strong. Such a way of appeal would be understood and supported by more people in the West, he said.

He said, “If you have some misunderstandings or misconceptions about China and I immediately verbally and harshly attack you, then the world will have deeper doubts and more violent conflicts about China.”

Previously, Zhang Jiadun, a leading U.S. expert on China, told the Voice of America that the Chinese Communist Party authorities, especially the “war wolf diplomats,” are going around in a disturbing manner, and that the Communist Party is moving in a direction that will not bring peace. He said the CCP’s arrogance and belligerence has offended many people, and their efforts to manipulate international public opinion, international discourse, and narrate the China story and point fingers everywhere have backfired, and they are losing the public relations battle.